Marks & Spencer will pull back on plans made last year to open 250 new international stores by 2017 amid uncertainty in Russia and China, said Patrick Bousquet-Chavanne, executive director of marketing and international. "The world has shifted, is a different place … The Syrian situation was very different from what it is today … Putin had not invaded Ukraine, and China was growing at close to 9%," he said.
UK-based retailer Marks & Spencer will close five of its 15 stores in Shanghai by August, and shift its attention in China to other cities including Beijing and Guangzhou, the company said. The retailer, which began opening stores in China in 2008, also expects to open more food stores in Hong Kong over the next two years.
Marks & Spencer launched a new e-commerce site this week that shifts control of the platform from Amazon to an in-house team. The site aims to reverse a nearly 10-year slide in the U.K. retailer's general merchandise market share and to boost the company's image as an international multichannel retailer.
Marks & Spencer will more than double the number of stores it operates in India with partner Reliance Retail to 80, CEO Marc Bolland said at the opening of the UK-based retailer's new 35,000-square-foot Mumbai store. The retailer opened its first store on the continent in 2001, partnered with Reliance Retail in 2008 and now operates 36 stores in major cities including Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Pascal Martin has resigned as head of Marks & Spencer's Asia operations after less than two years on the job, as the retailer explores possible partnerships in China, where it operates 15 mainland stores and 16 Hong Kong locations. Former Calvin Klein executive Bruce Findlay will replace Martin, overseeing 120 stores in nine Asian countries.